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Tipsheet

Blackburn Calls Biden's Bluff, Demands Action to Back Up His Pro-Police Claims

AP Photo/John Raoux

Democrat-run cities across America have upended the rule of law with lax prosecution guidelines and even more relaxes sentences that seek to return as many criminal suspects to the streets as possible with devastating and deadly consequences. In a trend that's not slowing — Illinois will become the first state to end cash bail on January 1 — Republicans are standing up to the lawless standard being inflicted on communities by those across the aisle.

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Led by Tennessee's Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, the Senate GOP is going after President Biden and his administration as well as Democrat leaders for allowing crime to run rampant and demanding they act now to address the violence plaguing American communities. 

Sens. Blackburn and Hagerty sent a joint letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday demanding "substantially more resources must be put toward protecting innocent life, invoking recent tragedies in Memphis that highlight the ongoing problem of soft-on-crime leaders:

On September 2, Eliza Fletcher was kidnaped and murdered while jogging near her home in Memphis. The person who has been charged with these offenses was released from prison in 2020 after serving a sentence for kidnapping someone else and had a lengthy history of criminal violence dating to back when he was eleven years old, including rape and aggravated assault convictions as a juvenile.

A few days later, on September 7, a nineteen year old went on a shooting rampage across Memphis, killing four and injuring at least three others. At one point during his rampage, the suspect walked into an auto parts store and fired at the first customer he saw. He subsequently murdered a female medical assistant after carjacking her. This suspect was recently released from jail after being incarcerated in 2020 for aggravated assault involving a firearm, and before that, was reportedly convicted of aggravated robbery as a juvenile, among other offenses. 

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What's happened in Blackburn and Hagerty's home state are just two instances in a devastating trend that's made communities less-safe while criminals are treated as victims and their victims receive little, if any, actual justice.

The GOP senators' letter notes a Council on Criminal Justice study that reported "across 22 major U.S. cities, murder offenses skyrocketed 44 percent from 2019 to 2021" while "at least 12 American cities set annual records for homicides in 2021, including Memphis." The letter also cites another report that found "homicide rates have risen by an average of 18% in 50 of the most populated U.S. cities between Q2 2020 and Q2 2022, and are still rising."

As Blackburn and Hagerty point out, it's not difficult to find the source of America's crime surge: "the eradication of bail and pretrial detention" along with "prosecutors declining to prosecute or seek jail time for serious crimes—as well as emboldened criminals who are often quickly returned to the streets."

"Importantly, support for this sentiment by certain leaders at the highest levels of our government has led to restraints on and attrition within law enforcement," the letter continues. "Measures and rhetoric that limit law enforcement must be reversed immediately."

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And while letters from senators to the president can sometimes be about messaging more than action, Blackburn and Hagerty make it clear what the Biden administration can do, almost immediately, to bolster law enforcement, crack down on crime, and send a message to lawless individuals that their free for all is coming to an end. Seeing how Biden has been a fan of using executive action to do everything from implement an unconstitutional vaccine mandate to bailout student debt, there's no reason for him not to take their advice unless he too believes criminals should be treated better than law-abiding Americans. 

Among their action points, the DOJ can surge resources to prosecuting felons in possession of firearms while using the Armed Career Criminal Act and its accompanying 15-year mandatory minimum sentence — along with hiring more Assistant United States Attorneys to focus on closing those cases and getting dangerous individuals off America's streets. 

Blackburn and Hagerty also ask Biden to revive Operation Legend, a wildly successful program started by the Trump administration, to send federal law enforcement to help state and local law enforcement fight back against violent crime. In addition, more federal funding in the form of grants should be sent to local law enforcement agencies to be used for hiring and retaining officers as well as ensuring those on the front lines of the battle between order and lawlessness are equipped with the right resources to secure their communities and return home safely. 

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"Rampant crime is not inevitable—tough law enforcement can stop it. But that requires a commitment to law enforcement," Blackburn and Hagerty conclude in their letter to Biden. "We must do whatever it takes to stop the escalation of violent crime across our nation."

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